State vs. State: Delaware
I’m unveiling a new feature on the Armpit of America today: State vs. State. In these entries, I’ll be comparing New Jersey to another state in our great country to show you why New Jersey is better. While it may be difficult to convince you that New Jersey is better than some states, like Hawaii (which isn’t a real state anyway), others will be a lot easier, like Mississippi (who the hell would want to live there?).
For my first State vs. State entry, I’ll be comparing New Jersey to our frenemy to the south, Delaware.
I know some of you are already asking, “Dela-where?” This is completely understandable. For those unfamiliar, Delaware is a sliver of a state bordered on the north by Pennsylvania, the west and south by Maryland, and the east by Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. As a matter of fact, in 1787, Delaware became the first state to join the union, a fact that its residents can’t stop bragging about. Maybe if something – anything – interesting had happened in Delaware over the last 200 years, they would have something else to brag about.
Say what you will about New Jersey, at least the state has an identity (albeit, the Armpit of America). Sure, people cringe when you tell them you’re from New Jersey. But I think it’s better for someone or something to have a bad reputation than no reputation at all. A common joke anyone from New Jersey is bound to hear when asked where they are from is, “You’re from New Jersey? Which exit?” Though playing on the assumption that the state is nothing but highway, at least this is a great conversation starter. When people hear that someone is from Delaware, that usually kills the conversation.
Delaware is definitely immune to much of the teasing that New Jersey gets. People love to make fun of the Armpit of America and say it is full of factories, pollution, corrupt politicians, the mafia, and shopping malls. Although New Jersey has a lot more to offer, these things are indeed abundant and known to people throughout the world. But what is known about Delaware? Does Delaware have its own identity? Is there a Delaware stereotype? Has anything good ever come out of Delaware?
Sure, our current Vice President comes from Delaware, giving the state a brief moment in the spotlight. Well, New Jersey’s got Delaware beat on this front as well. We’ve had two Presidents come from our state: Grover Cleveland and Woodrow Wilson.
Delaware is actually known for something else – its 0% sales tax. Though New Jersey is fortunate to have no sales tax on clothing, everything is tax-free in Delaware. Though some say that’s because the economy of the state is so good that they don’t need the extra revenue, I see things differently. Delaware’s decision not to have a sales tax is a pathetic attempt to trick people into visiting the state. Who in their right mind would wanna go there otherwise?
Delaware’s tax-free shopping has made it a famous stop along I-95 for those looking to stock up on cigarettes. I recall back in college people in my dorm planning cigarette runs down to the state just to get cartons without paying the taxes on them. Though a 0% sales tax is nice in theory, it only encourages people to smoke more. Way to go, Delaware! I’m surprised thetruth.com hasn’t done a commercial there yet.
Another thing. New Jersey is home to people of many different races, religions, and cultures. Delaware, at least from what I’ve seen, doesn’t seem to be very accepting of other people’s beliefs. And what do I base this on? Anyone driving into Delaware from New Jersey should know what I’m talking about. Shortly after going over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, you are greeted by a giant, white statue of Jesus that would put the one in Brazil to shame. Sorry Delaware, but not everyone fits under the Caucasian-Christian umbrella.
Despite the bad things about Delaware, I will give credit where credit is due. It seems like a nice, if not a little boring, place to live. The University of Delaware is an excellent school (even though they put me on the waiting list…). Though I have never been to Delaware’s beaches, I hear they are beautiful, and I’m sure they’re a lot cleaner than the ones found in New Jersey. But for all the reasons outlined above, New Jersey is a much better state.
Have anything to add to the Delaware/New Jersey debate? Let’s discuss it below.